Section 230 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000, which came into operation on 11 March 2002, provides that a licence is required in respect of the holding of an event, or class of event, prescribed under Part 16 of the Planning and Development (Licensing of Outdoor Events) Regulations, 2001. These Regulations, which received the positive approval of both Houses of the Oireachtas, include requirements such as:
(a) publication of a notice of intention to apply for a licence;
(b) notification of prescribed persons or bodies;
(c) form and content of an application for a licence;
(d) plans, documents and information to be submitted with an application;
(e) bodies to be consulted in relation to a licence;
(f) enabling submissions and observations to be made within a prescribed time;
(g) requiring an applicant to submit further information in respect of their application; and
(h) the time within which a decision on an application must be made.
The prescribed bodies required to be consulted are: (a) the relevant Chief Superintendent of An Garda Síochána; (b) the relevant Health Board; or (c) any county council, county borough corporation, borough corporation or urban district council (other than the local authority to whom the application is made), the area of which will be affected by the event.
The regulations also provide that a local authority may consult any other body, not being a prescribed body, in relation to an application where it considers it appropriate, and that the local authority may take whatever measures it considers necessary, including the convening of meetings or taking of oral submissions, to seek the views of any person in regard to the application.
Section 231 provides that where an application is made in accordance with the regulations, the local authority may decide to grant the licence, grant the licence subject to such conditions as it considers appropriate or refuse the licence. Conditions subject to which a licence is granted may relate to, inter alia, the following: (i) securing the safety of persons at the place in connection with the event; (ii) the provision of adequate facilities for the health and welfare of persons at the place in connection with the event; (iii) the maintenance of public order; and (iv) the display of notices for persons attending the event as to their obligations and conduct at the event.
Following events at the recent concert in the Phoenix Park, I anticipate that the relevant licensing authority, Dublin City Council, will be reviewing this event, in consultation with the promoters and other bodies as appropriate, to see what lessons should be learned and whether changes to the licensing system are necessary. My Department will be in contact with the council in this regard.